Malaysia Registers 25.7 Million Tourists And RM65.44 Billion Tourist Receipts In 2013


KUALA LUMPUR, 27 February 2014 – Malaysia’s tourism industry performed above expectations in 2013, with tourist receipts of RM65.44 billion exceeding the initial target of RM65 billion. The 8.1% growth from RM60.56 billion in 2012, represents an expansion of about RM4.89 billion in foreign exchange earnings.

Meanwhile, tourist arrivals also grew by 2.7% to 25.7 million (25,715,460) arrivals compared to 25.0 million (25,032,708) arrivals in 2012 despite a challenging year.

“We are pleased to achieve such a substantial growth in tourist receipts last year. This is in line with the broad objectives of the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) and Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan (MTTP) to increase yield per tourist. Last year, the average tourist spending per capita was RM2,544.90 per person compared to RM2,419.10 per person in 2012,” said the Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.   

He added that tourism was the sixth largest contributor to the economy moving up one spot compared to 2012. It contributed RM51.5 billion to Gross National Income (GNI) in 2013.

He attributed the growth in tourist arrivals and spending to the Government’s focus on the initiatives under National Key Economic Area (NKEA) Tourism including the promotion of Malaysia as a duty-free and affordable luxury shopping destination, as well as the concerted efforts through the strategic public-private partnership to position and brand Malaysia as the top-of-mind destination for business and leisure.

The ASEAN market remains the largest contributor with 19.1 million arrivals, representing a 74.3% share of the overall tourist arrivals to Malaysia. The medium-haul market was the second largest market with 4.9 million arrivals followed by the long-haul market with 1.7 million arrivals.

The top ten tourist generating markets from January to December 2013 were Singapore (13,178,774), Indonesia (2,548,021), China (1,791,432), Brunei (1,238,871), Thailand (1,156,452), India (650,989), the Philippines (557,147), Australia (526,342), Japan (513,076) and the United Kingdom (413,472).

Markets showing double digit growth in arrivals were mainly from the medium and long-haul countries with Turkish arrivals surging by 28.9% assisted by the seven weekly direct flights from Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur by Malaysia Airlines and Turkish Airlines, as well as the re-opening of Tourism Malaysia Office in Istanbul.

Other markets showing strong growth include China (14.9%) which benefited from the new six weekly direct AirAsia X flights from Shanghai to Kuala Lumpur and another seven weekly direct AirAsia X flights from Hangzhou to Kota Kinabalu. Swedish tourist arrivals saw an increase of 13.1% on the back of strong promotional efforts there, in addition to the thrice weekly flights from Stockholm to Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur by Turkish Airlines beginning April 2013, as well as the seven weekly Emirates flights from Stockholm to Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, which started last September.  

Double digit growth arrivals were also recorded for the following markets: Bangladesh (55.7%), Cambodia (28.6%), Iraq (27%), Egypt (25.3%), Russia (18.8%), Taiwan (18%), Ireland (13%), Vietnam (11.7%), Norway (11.6%), and Spain (10.9%).

Last year, tourist arrivals from the Iranian market registered a significant drop of 38.5% partly due to AirAsia X’s decision to suspend its services to Tehran beginning October 2012.

The ongoing political woes in Thailand throughout 2013 had also affected arrivals from the country, which showed a decline of 8.4%.

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For more media releases, media info and media features on Malaysia’s tourism industry, kindly visit the Media Centre of Tourism Malaysia’s website at

MALAYSIA TOURISM PROMOTION BOARD OR TOURISM MALAYSIA is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Malaysia. Tourism Malaysia focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia at all levels. Since its inception, Tourism Malaysia has grown by leaps and bounds and it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. In 2012, Malaysia registered 25 million tourist arrivals and RM60.6 billion in tourist receipts, placing the country firmly as the 10th most popular tourism destination in the world.

In 2014, Malaysia will celebrate its fourth VISIT MALAYSIA YEAR (VMY) with the theme “Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia”. The VMY 2014 promotional campaign has started this year with a series of year-long special events and activities leading to VMY 2014. It will contribute to the Government’s target to receive 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168 billion in receipts by 2020, as outlined in the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan (MTTP) 2020.    

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